The Wall Street Journal has published a report that largely corroborates what Bloomberg said earlier; a new Apple TV is under development with Apple currently in negotiation stages for content deals, with at least Time Warner Cable. However, the Wall Street Journal adds some new information about what these talks entail.
Initially, it appears that Apple wanted an independent Apple TV product to offer TV shows and films exclusively over the Internet. However, now it appears that Apple is scaling back some of its ambition due to resistance from content companies.
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In the current discussions, which involve at least two big media companies, Apple envisages working with cable companies, rather than competing against them, the people said. For programming, it would rely on cable providers to acquire programming rights from media companies, rather than acquire them on its own, the people said. Apple might consider seeking some rights directly in the future, one of the people said.
Rather than angling for content rights itself, the Wall Street Journal says Apple is using the cable companies as a proxy for this. This means that you would still have to buy some form of subscription through a cable provider, rather than only deal with Apple exclusively. In the Bloomberg piece, it says that Eddy Cue has been trying to allow purchases to be made with an Apple ID but is facing resistance.
Moreover, the report says that Apple originally wanted full seasons of shows for on-demand purposes. Now, Apple is angling for just five episodes of back catalogue for the current season, the industry standard. Apple is also considering disabling fast-forwarding for three days after the shows air, to protect broadcasters’ viewership.
This reports line up well with 9to5Mac’s reporting about new Apple TV hardware from a couple of weeks ago. We said that Apple has been testing hardware that includes a tuner, as well as a revamped App Store and Game Store model. Most recently, we found references to Apple TV 4,1 in iOS 7 files which (in accordance with Apple’s typical identifier scheme for products) indicates a major revamp over the current generation.